Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yellow Mountains

Yesterday, I was attending a work-related event and while I was supposed to be “networking”, I was captivated by this piece of artwork in the lobby.

I noted the artist's name and called my voice mail at work from my cell phone. That’s my mode of making notes of things. Otherwise, I’d completely forget. About everything.

So, I googled the artist and found her work online.


The work that caught my attention when I should have been “networking” is called Ripening Field and the artist is Sandi Dahl. Isn’t it pretty?

It reminded me of an event that occurred on the first day of school when I was in the 4th grade. I had just transferred to a different school and was the "new kid." The teacher, Mrs. Ullmann, instructed us to draw a picture of what we did over the summer break.

I got out my new pack of Crayola crayons and went to work on my masterpiece.

By the way, is there anything that smells more inviting than a new pack of Crayolas? I think not.

During that summer, my family had gone to the Hill Country of Texas to our favorite campground type place. I had climbed up to this hilltop and could see the undulating hills (which were sort-of mountains) for miles and miles. It was so pretty, especially compared to the flat coastal plains of my little-bitty home town.

I just sat there by myself for a long time and took it all in. To me, the mountains looked colorful.

So, for my assignment, I drew a picture showing lots of mountains and made each one a different color. And I threw in a big rainbow for added dramatic effect.

Mrs. Ullmann hung each of our works along the top of the blackboard when we were done. There were depictions of a kid fishing, a kid playing baseball, a kid eating watermelon and the like.

Well, she just poo-poo’d my piece of art, saying that mountains weren’t orange or red or blue or yellow. She also added that the assignment was to show what we did over the summer, not what we saw.

I felt my face burning with embarrassment. I was in a new school and now the teacher was dissing my work in front of the whole class.

I knew that mountains weren’t actually orange or blue or yellow, but that’s what my experience had evoked in me. Had I been a little older and smarter, I would have responded with, “Haven’t you heard of Impressionism, you cow??”

But I just sat there and tried not to cry in front of all the strange, new kids.

So, that’s why I was captivated by this piece of art yesterday. I knew exactly where this artist was coming from. I’ve known that since I was nine years old.

I’d really like to buy this work, but a print of it is seven hundred bucks. That’s a pretty good chunk of money to spend on myself.

However, I think that nine-year old kid who was humiliated on the first day of school for drawing yellow mountains would just love it.

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At 9:09 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

Hmmm...I wonder if God sends us these "signs" as adults, to make up for sad childhood experiences.

There's your sign! *grin*

Anyway, I LOVE the fact that your 9-year-old self made the mountains were (and still are) very creative! :)

At 11:44 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

That story makes me mad. Stupid cow teacher. I think you should totally by that print for your 9 year old. He deserves it. (Stupid cow teacher).

At 9:44 PM , Blogger Breenlantern said...

BEAUTIFUL post...I am sorry for the mad cow who choppped you down as an innocent child expressing yourself, but so is the experience of those of us born with one foot in this world and one in the magical...


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